Africa: Touring Lagos, Nigeria

If I take you to Elegushi ooooh,u go like Lagos oooooh. Those were the lyrics from a Nigerian Song racing through my mind as we set out for the day’s tour. Oh, my Lagos! A land for hustlers, a land where the weak becomes strong, a land of milk and honey filled with awesome beaches and great nightlife, a land of rapid traffic, a land where ‘shine your eyes’ is a national anthem, a land of owambes and a land of good food. What a city!!! Even the traffic can’t stop its greatness. If you have not been to Lagos, Nigeria, you have not been anywhere.

It was an adventurous and exciting summer holiday in Nigeria for my tourists from the United Kingdom; Ruth, Luke, Andrew and Richard Ossai. They visited Nigeria to connect with their roots and also feel the Nigerian tourism atmosphere. Because of their love for arts and nature, I proposed visits to Lekki Conservation Centre, Nike Art Gallery, Elegushi Beach and Freedom Park.

The day’s tour started with a hotel pick up from Ikeja and from there we headed to the Island through the third mainland bridge to get a little taste of the Lagos traffic but fortunately the traffic witches retired before we set out. Lagos traffic dikwa egwu because you can never see what is actually causing the traffic, lol. Our first stop was the famous Nike Art Gallery; an art heaven located by the right at Ikate round about Lekki.I call it an art heaven because there is no type of artwork/paintings you won’t get to see there, Lawwwd!!! It’s a sight to behold mehhhnn.

Chief Mrs. Nike Davies-Okundaye is the founder of the gallery and also a renowned Nigerian artist. Nike Art Centre is the home of Nigerian Arts and Culture with four art galleries located in Lagos, Osun, Kogi & Abuja, all dedicated to promoting and teaching the arts, culture, tradition, language and heritage of Nigeria. Nike’s Lagos gallery, the newest of the four contains one of the most extensive African art collections in Africa and is reported to be West Africa’s largest art gallery. The four art centers collection boasts of over 500 sculptures, 8,000 paintings, and thousands of indigenous and hand-designed fabrics, all hand selected by Madam Nike.

Nike has given workshops on traditional textiles to audiences in the US and Europe during the past years and she is known for her colourful batik and paintings and she was brought up amidst the traditional weaving practiced in her native village of Ogidi in Western Nigeria. Her fame as an artist and teacher have taken her all over the world.

taleWe walked round the gallery from the first to the fourth floor all adorned with glorious artworks, paintings, and sculptures from the different ethnic groups in Nigeria. If you are an art lover, this is the best place to be and of course, it was the best place to be for one of my tourists, the tropical Queen of Arts: Ruth Ossai.

She was really eager to explore the gallery because of her great love for African arts.It was a great experience for everyone.

After the first phase of our tour, we headed to Lekki Conservation center to experience nature and also explore the longest canopy walkway in Africa, whoop!. We arrived there at about 12pm and it was a bit sunny but thanks to the canopy. We proceeded to the information center to get our tickets and the general fee is #1000,and the canopy walkway is also #1000 making it #2000.

The canopy walkway is not compulsory for everyone and it’s not advisable for children and also people that have acrophobia as you are going to be taken up as high as Mountain Everest, lol just joking but its a bit high.

After collecting our tickets, we were introduced to our tour guide, Mr. Alex a young gentleman, very friendly and covered with loads of smiles. He led us to the entrance to nature’s trail and lo and behold, just before the tour commenced, we saw beautiful peacocks displaying their awesome inviting colors and the giant tortoise.

I was really excited seeing the tortoise because it’s really been a whole long time I saw a giant tortoise of such and according to the tour guide, the tortoise is the oldest of the three tortoises kept in the reserve. it’s about 115 years old. Despite the weight of the tortoise, it still moves so well, Interesting!

And so the tour started with an introduction by Mr. Alex, our tour guide. According to him, Lekki Conversation Center is one of Nigerian Conservation Foundation(NCF) foremost conservation project site located on the renowned Lekki Peninsula which covers a land area of 78 hectares. It is a conservation initiative to protect wildlife found in the southwest coastal environment of Nigeria in the face of sprawling urban development.

It’s an ideal place where one can be with nature. He said it was not really possible to see all the animals as they are in their natural habitats and might not always come out, but sincerely speaking from my point of view, I think most of these animals have escaped or probably have not been well conserved and so that’s why they always give us this crap of the animals not always likely to be seen and all that. Anyway, that’s by the way and so we were ushered into the conservation through the wooden pathway/trail which runs down into the conservation center and the adventure kicked off! It was really an awesome experience walking on the elevated trail (wooden) which is built on a very swampy area.

We were welcomed into the reserve by birds whispering and singing the songs of nature and then the flying monkeys. The monkeys in this reserve can fly for Africa, Chei! Nna ehhh at a point sef fear con dey catch me ooooh, Hahahahaahh. The sight of the monkeys actually increased the excitements on our faces. They jumped from the trees to the wooden pathway and my tourists were excited and thrilled with the whole monkey display. We forgot to bring bananas for the monkeys but we won’t forget next time. lol

After walking for some minutes, we got to the canopy walkway. The tour guide read out the rules for the walkway which includes keeping all camera and phones properly and so on. The canopy walkway according to him has seven bridges/levels with six resting points of about 22.5 ft high at the highest point and 401m long. As the journey started, the tour guide led the way. And slowly we ascended on a great height with the suspended walkway swinging left to right and I bet if u don’t hold firmly to the rope, you might lose it and get baptized in the swampy water, lol.

The adventure continued after we rested for a while at the first resting point. We continued and got to the highest point and were thrilled by the view. At this point eh we got more scared. One of the tourists, Luke started dancing and jumping up and down on the suspended canopy walkway. My heart left my chest I felt the canopy walkway was just going to break and land us dining with the crocodiles in the swampy water but its not possible sha..Well, it was part of the fun and am my tourists explored the walkway and will do this over and over again. We got to the last bridge and descended into the savannah region.

This region according to the tour guide is an artificial savannah ground also known as the family park. The family park has different relaxation huts with chairs and games for children and adults too. There are fish ponds here also with different species of fish.
We didn’t have enough time to chill a bit at the huts because we still had other places to explore and so it was at this point Alex our tour guide announced the end of the tour. What! of course, that can’t be the end without seeing the crocodiles at least and so I insisted we visit the crocodile habitat to see if we can sight any of the crocodiles.

Unfortunately we couldn’t sight any when we got there but of course, we were not yet satisfied and so on our way back, Lo and behold we saw a moving creature under the wooden trail and guess what it was; THE CROCODILE! Hahahaha you needed to see the excitement on our faces just sighting the crocodile alone and so we were all ready to end the tour. The experience at the conservation center was spectacular, mixed with fear and excitement but it was worth it. You need to be here to feel the experience.

Afterward we stopped over for lunch at a local restaurant (Buka) according to my tourists demand before setting out for Freedom Park and the National Museum where we stayed briefly and then the beach.

And our next stop was the popular nightlife beach, Elegushi Beach. You know when you’re tired of the hot sun in Lagos and just want to chill? The first place that comes to your mind, at least for me, is “The Beach” especially Elegushi Beach. Elegushi Beach is located off Lekki Expressway. It’s not the cleanest of beaches, but people typically (and heavily) patronize this spot. Elegushi offers a mix of music, food and beautiful scenery of the water. The Beach features a breakwater you can walk up on, some buildings that look temporary in the form of huts, vendors selling jewellery and horseback rides.

The first thing we noticed about Elegushi Private Beach was the sea spray. The beach is located at a steep slope into the ocean and the waves break very close to the sandy beach. The waves are a decent size making it a good place to use a boogie board if you happen to bring one. There were a number of people kicking soccer balls into the waves and then retrieving them when the waves brought them back.

People were jumping into the waves enjoying themselves, others stayed at the edge letting the waves wash over their feet like us lol and still others stayed on the sand enjoying food and drink from the restaurants on the beach. We played the Truth and Dare game for a while, built sand castles and finally it was time to Unwind.

As a Lagos gurl u know heheheh, this fun can never be complete ooo without having some drinks, soft or alcohol and dancing some azonto and shoki or better still watch those that are dancing and that was exactly the case as we all sat enjoying our suya spiced meat with drinks.

The experience generally was great and of course, my tourists looked forward to coming back to Nigeria for more. And so what are you still waiting for? Hurry now and grab your own experience of the Lagos Adventures.

To travel is to live, start living now!




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